Hot Mother
Hot Mother
Datsun
Datsun
Tūī
Tūī

New Zealand’s Best 2021 

Aotearoa

Check out the year’s best New Zealand short films as chosen by this year’s guest selector, Kerry Fox, from a total of 117 submitted entries.

93 minutes
R16
nudity, drug use, offensive language, sexual themes & content that may disturb

New Zealand's Best 2021 is now available to view online until Sunday 5 December. Click here to rent. ($11 for 7 day rental. Once you press play, the watch window begins and you have 48 hours to watch the film)

For New Zealand’s Best 2021 short film competition, Head of Programming Michael McDonnell and Senior Programmer Sandra Reid viewed 117 submissions to draw up a shortlist of 12, from which New Zealand actress and filmmaker Kerry Fox selected these six finalists. A jury of three will select the winners of the Vista Group Award for Best Short Film ($7500), the Creative New Zealand Emerging Talent Award ($4000), and the Auckland Live Spirit of the Civic Award ($4000), while audiences at the Wellington and Christchurch screenings will vote for the winner of the Audience Choice Award who will receive 25 percent of the box office from the main centre NZIFF screenings.

Kerry Fox: Naturally I’m going to lean towards films that deliver courageous, rich, original and truthful performances, but these are the criteria I believe are essential to the whole creation of cinematic drama.

The films I felt most succeeded in their specific intentions were those that tackled their chosen dramas with courage, being prepared to face something that frightens, and wit, so displaying inventive thought and delivery.

Rich conflict and the unexpected were the elements that most stirred my responses, so it was the cinematic expression of the conflict that defines drama that won my heart each time.

Films are listed in the order they will screen.

Washday 2020

Cast

Te Kohe Tuhaka
,
Bayleigh Tuhaka
,
Skyler Jed
,
Max Vanderbilt

Producers

Verity Mackintosh
,
Julian Arahanga

Screenplay

Kath Akuhata-Brown

Photography

Fred Renata

Editor

Te Rurehe Paki
14 minutes

Eight-year-old Hine and her father still mourn the passing of her mother, but one day while her father works, Hine devises a plan to wash away her father’s sadness.

Only F**ks Pat Me On The Head 2021

Co-Creator

Jon Little

Producers

Paul Wolffram
,
Abby Lyons

Photography

Adam Browne

Editor

Monique Thorp
20 minutes

Jon Little humorously shares the frustrations of living with cerebral palsy in a world not designed to accommodate those who are different.

Hot Mother 2020

Director

Cast

Alison Bruce
,
Erana James

Producers

Evie Mackay
,
W.A.M Bleakley

Screenplay

Lucy Knox

Photography

Adam Luxton

Editor

Paul Rowe
14 minutes

Inspired by a true story, a vacationing mother and daughter bicker and avoid connection at an idyllic hot spring retreat until an unfortunate accident occurs.

Tūī 2021

Director

Cast

Awa Puna
,
Tane Rolfe
,
Lawrence Wharerau
,
Briar Grace-Smith
,
Flynn Mehlhopt

Producers

Awa Puna
,
Flynn Mehlhopt

Photography

Hayden Smithie

Editors

Hayden Smithie
,
Awa Puna
18 minutes

Tūī and brother Manaia live alone in a remote farm with their distant father still coming to terms with a tragic loss, but something in the forest calls to Tūī.

When We Were Kids 2020

Cast

Ana Kelliher
,
Finn Gilbert Keene
,
Tim Carlsen

Producer

Sarah Cook

Screenplay

Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu

Photography

Maria Inés Manchego

Editor

Anastasia Doniants
12 minutes

A lazy summer day at the public pools takes a nasty turn driving a wedge between 13-year-old Jade and her best friend.

Datsun 2021

Director

Cast

Mickey Reddish
,
Billy R. McCarthy
,
Tate Harrow
,
Ashley Harnett
,
Marion Prebble
,
Eryn Wilson

Producers

Sharlene George
,
Andy Mauger
,
Gal Greenspan

Screenplay

Mark Albiston
,
J. Patrick McElroy

Photography

Marty Williams

Editors

Luke Haigh
,
Mark Albiston
15 minutes

Fourteen-year-old Matt takes his dad’s yellow Datsun for one last wild joyride with his best buddy and kid brother in tow.